Baltimore Orioles' Manny Machado hits a single in the sixth inning,… (Gene Sweeney Jr. / MCT )
BALTIMORE — When it rains, it pours for Angels, figuratively and literally, and they were drenched in the controversial sixth inning Monday night when they gave up the decisive runs in a 4-3 loss to the Baltimore Orioles in Camden Yards.
The Angels still had a chance to win after a 2-hour, 14-minute rain delay, trimming the deficit to 4-3 in the seventh when Orioles first baseman Chris Davis threw late to second on Josh Hamilton's bases-loaded slow roller, allowing a run to score.
But reliever Tommy Hunter struck out Albert Pujols on three pitches, the last one a 98-mph fastball, and Mark Trumbo grounded to second baseman Ryan Flaherty, who made a nice play over the middle and an off-balance throw to first to preserve the lead.
BOX SCORE: Baltimore 4, Angels 3
Darren O'Day threw a scoreless eighth and Jim Johnson tossed a one-two-three ninth for his 22nd save, as the Angels lost for the 10th time in 14 games and fell to 27-37 on the season.
"Give Hunter some credit, he definitely turned it up a notch, and Flaherty made a good play on the ball Trumbo hit," Angels Manager Mike Scioscia said. "Unfortunately, we couldn't get that one hit when we needed it."
Nor could they prevent one in a wet-and-wild sixth. A steady drizzle from the third inning on turned into a downpour shortly after Hamilton's solo homer in the top of the sixth made it 2-2.
In the middle of the sixth, the grounds crew raked a drying agent into the infield dirt and the mound, and it appeared play might be halted. But home-plate umpire Joe West waved Angels starter Jered Weaver to the mound.
The inning quickly deteriorated for the Angels among quickly deteriorating conditions, the infield dirt turning into a mush that Baltimore right fielder Nick Markakis compared to the Slip-and-Slide he played on as a kid.
Nate McLouth bunted for a single and stole second. Manny Machado flared a single to right that scooted under Hamilton's glove for an error, allowing McLouth to score. Machado took third on Markakis' bloop single and scored on Adam Jones' sacrifice fly for a 4-2 lead.
Chris Davis grounded into a fielder's choice, third baseman Alberto Callaspo sloshing to his right to field the ball and throw to second, and then West ordered the grounds crew to cover the field.
Was the field playable in the bottom of the sixth?
"Heck no," Trumbo said. "I thought it was pretty soggy out there. Any time you get noticeable standing water, I think it's an issue. It makes it way tougher, obviously.
"Not only are you fighting for your own footing, if you do field a ball cleanly, you're trying to make an accurate throw in some real tough conditions. It becomes exponentially harder."
Scioscia thought the field was playable to start the sixth, "and I think at the point they stopped it, it needed to be stopped," he said. "I didn't see any issue there at all."
Weaver called the conditions "some of the toughest I've ever had to pitch in, but both teams had to battle through it."
West said he knew he had to stop the game when, on Davis' fielder's choice, Markakis' slide took him several feet past the second-base bag.
"When the guy slid into second, and the infielder was slipping and the runner was slipping … you can't take a chance with them getting injured," West said. "The field was getting unplayable. It was too wet. And that's when we stopped."